HOLLYWOOD─I don’t know what to say, but I have been a fan of the “Friday the 13th” films since I was a little kid, probably since the age of 4 or 5. I have ALWAYS been a fan of horror films, but let me be crystal clear (node to Crystal Lake), I am NOT a fan of 80s slasher films. I don’t like the inept plots or over the top violence. I know that is hypocritical coming from someone who is a fan of the “Friday the 13th” series. However, people need to understand I grew up with these movies and on top of that this franchise was KNOWN for the excessive violence, it was not copying what others did before it.
With that said, the first film is a classic and delivers and epic twist in the realm of who you think the killer is and to discover its someone else, Mrs. Voorhees people. I loved the first sequel because in my opinion it laid out the groundwork for the character Jason Voorhees and had a level of suspense that was smart and clever. Yes, I will argue that “Friday the 13th Part 2” is underrated.
While it’s a fav of mine, “Friday the 13th Part 3D” is a gem only if you’ve actually witnessed the flick in actual 3D. Too bad the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the flick is not the high-tech 3D that is in your face, and it takes away the impact of the movie in my opinion. I like the “Final Chapter” because it was to be a culmination of the end of Jason Voorhees as we know it. The plot is not great, but it is a ‘solid’ end to a franchise, which at the time it was.
Look, we’re skipping the fifth installment in the franchise because it was a mess and should have NEVER been made. I have no clue why this always happens in a horror franchise. It happened with the franchise “A Nightmare on Elm Street” as well as “Halloween.” There is always that one film that leaves you saying: ‘Why is this part of the franchise?” So let’s move to “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.” This is one of my favorites in the genre because it resurrected the villain in a genius way, while not believable it works in the horror movie universe and it managed to balance something not seen before horror and comedy. Here’s the thing this movie does well, the suspense, tension and horror is top-notch, and the small comedic moments don’t take away from it. You know you’re watching a horror movie and having those little touches of comedy elevates things.
I mean that moment Sissy gets dragged out the window or Paula meeting face-to-face with Jason, that’s what you call tension and suspense built in perfect fashion. It works so well and I just wish I could have seen this play out on the big screen when this movie first arrived on the big screen in 1986. It’s the best sequel in the franchise in my opinion, hands down, if you have a better argument I’m all ears to hear it people. The only issue I have with “Jason Lives” is that ending, which is just so anticlimactic; I wanted more people.
This next chapter, “The New Blood” baffled me for years. I never understood that title for the seventh film until a few years ago. The title was in direct reference to the end of the Tommy Jarvis saga which was relevant for the (fourth, fifth and sixth) films in the franchise.
“The New Blood” offers a new take into the franchise where Jason actually faces a formidable foe in Tina Sheppard a woman who has visions and is telekinetic. The onslaught of the unsuspecting young adults is nothing stellar, but the finally battle between Tina and Jason was fun. Now we get to the movie that was one of my favorites for the longest time until I was forced to acknowledge that “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” is not a great movie.
Why? Well a vast majority of the chaos takes place on a boat or cruise ship if you want to call it. I mean you cannot tout such a title and only a third or the final act of the movie takes place there. It’s such a tease to audiences, and a major misdirect. If there is EVER a movie that deserves a true remake it is this installment in the franchise because it would give the audience an opportunity to see Jason Voorhees actually cause mayhem in the Big Apple and do so in a way that was in tune with pop culture. I mean it’s like could you imagine Michael Myers from the “Halloween” franchise finally venturing outside of Haddonfield? It would be great right?
I’m not discussing “Jason Goes to Hell,” “Freddy vs. Jason” or the 2009 remake of “Friday the 13th.” While solid flicks, I only consider the first eight movies as part of the actual franchise people. With that said, I’ve heard rumors via Facebook that a new box-set of the series is slated to arrive on Blu-Ray, maybe 4k this summer. I seriously hope this is true. Why? Cause the last steel case box-set was neat, it never came close to what fans truly want. I will tell you what we want: A box set where the movies ALL have their own separate disc, not bundled with another flick in the franchise; the original cover art from the flicks when they were released in theaters.
I don’t know where this new cover art came from, but its terrible people especially for the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eight films. How about a true 3D version of the third installment! I mean there are 3D TVs and 3D Blu-Ray players people. Let those of us who didn’t see the actual 3D version as it appear on the big screen in 1982 finally come to home video. Finally, present us all the trailers, commentary, deleted scenes, alternate endings and uncut versions of those movies that have been rumored for years, but never released in their full continuity.
I saw it’s a “Friday the 13th” movie marathon because several of the flicks have been airing lately on Cable and Broadcast TV lately and they have kept me quite entertained during this pandemic where the boredom is setting in much more than I could ever imagine. For horror fans it satisfies our drive for a great scare, that’s until fingers crossed we get a new entry in the franchise. I mean it’s been 11 years, I do believe it’s time for Jason Voorhees to finally return to the big screen.